career options in Science

career options in Science

career options in Science

PUBLISH DATE 1st December 2017

Increase in awareness, research and development in the field of health and scientific beauty has led to new age career options. If science fascinates you then there are two off beat careers which are now gaining popularity, career in stem cell therapy and cosmetology.

 Stem cells exist in the body, within various tissues, and play an essential role in maintenance of tissue homeostasis. The solution to health problems lies within us is the broad concept of regenerative medicine and cell based therapies. "These novel technologies aim to utilise the body's own reparative potential to stimulate natural healing mechanisms. These cells ensure proper functioning of organ systems and efficient replacement of damaged cells. The aim is to harness the power of cells and molecules to find newer therapeutic avenues in treatment of the myriad of acute and chronic health conditions that plague mankind," explains Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative medicine researcher, Adigos Stem Cells.

Academics

The basic requirement is a graduate degree in medicine to enter the clinical domain of regenerative medicine. One does not needed MBBS to pursue career in stem cell. However, graduate or post-graduate candidates with life-sciences, biotechnology, molecular biology background, etc. are also eligible to train and work in this new field.

Skills required depend on the domain that an individual works in. "A clinician working on stem cell research or trials will be required to have thorough knowledge of various health conditions along with understanding the behaviour of the stem cells and other molecules within the human body. A biotechnology or life sciences candidate should be familiar with and must stay updated on laboratory techniques associated with handling of biological tissues, culture methods, etc." states Dr. Mahajan.

Stem cell therapy refers to introducing new adult stem cells into damaged tissue to treat a particular type of disease. So a researcher studies embryonic stem cells, tissue-specific stem cells, cancer stem cells, developmental studies, stem cell genomes, etc.

Conventional treatments are losing potency, owing to varied environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors, in treatment of diseases. "Additionally, patients are now well informed of the effects of pharmacological agents and surgeries. Thus, newer non or minimally invasive therapeutic modalities such as regenerative medicine, gene therapy, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, etc. are now gaining popularity. Rising investment in healthcare, research and development activities have opened up attractive career paths for individuals in these fields," he adds.

One can find employment opportunities at hospitals, research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and public health sector. "A starter from the medical field may get a salary of Rs.6 lakh to Rs.7 lakh per annum while candidates from life sciences or biology backgrounds may expect Rs.2 lakh to Rs.4 lakh per annum," says Mahajan.

Challenges

"Any new therapeutic modality is subjected to extensive research and regulatory guidelines to ensure therapeutic care with safety and efficacy. In a developing economy, the major challenges lie in acquiring the infrastructure and meeting the stringent regulatory requirements. Financial resources must be considered to ensure that the therapies are universally accessible to all strata of society. Moreover, it is imperative to create proper awareness of such advances amongst the masses."

Currently there are few (but gradually increasing) courses that train a qualified individual in regenerative medicine and cell based therapy. The potential of stem cells is vast and it is one of the most promising areas of biomedical research.

COSMETOLOGY

Looking good matters, looking young is the new age mantra now. There is a boom in the cosmetic industry, and there is an ever-increasing demand for cosmetologist. Technological advances in cosmetology are tremendous; hence it is one of the upcoming, exciting and expanding branches of medicine.

"Cosmetology is the art and science of beauty treatment and its application. This science focuses on making people look good. It includes beautification by use of cosmetics, beauty therapy and treatments for face, hair, body - using medical grade products and overall health care," states Dr. Mohan Thomas, Senior Cosmetic surgeon, cosmetic surgery institute.

Dermatology and Cosmetology are different

Dermatologists are specialists of skin ailments. Dermatology is a specialised branch which deals with treatment of skin infections, skin cancers, pigmentation, venereology and beauty related issues. They are Doctors with MD or Diploma in skin diseases. Cosmetology experts on the other hand deal with makeup, skin care and beauty products. They provide beauty services that include cosmetic care for hair, skin and body. In short a dermatologist can function as a cosmetologist but a cosmetologist cannot function as a dermatologist.

MBBS is usually required for a cosmetologist. As it helps in attaining detailed knowledge about the products, allergies their treatment, address adverse reactions and treat bad outcomes. This degree is usually associated with training in cosmetic procedures like peels, lasers, hair treatment, facials, etc.

Technicians do not hold a MBBS degree, they take certificate courses after their 12th standard. Some specialise in laser treatments to become laser technicians, some in cosmetic products and facials - to work as skin therapists and others in hair related field. Many polytechnics and vocational institutes offer courses in beauty care or cosmetology.

Skills needed

People rely on the skills of a cosmetologist to make them look their best. So, a cosmetologists have to be educated, stylish and creative so that they can advise them accordingly. Technical training from a reputable institute is needed and one should remain updated for the latest in the field. They should have the dexterity to use the technology and make coordinated hand movements along with the stamina to stand during the procedures for long periods.

Scope and areas of employment

The scope and career possibility in the industry of beauty is endless. An aspiring cosmetologist has diverse and plenty of choices. "Trained dermatologists who run a cosmetic centre provide the complete range of non-surgical skin and beauty treatments. They are assisted by trained cosmetologists (with MBBS or BAMS degree). Trained cosmetologists find well paid jobs in beauty parlors, high-end salons and luxurious hotels or resorts. Makeup professionals are always in demand in television film and fashion industries. Other options include - image consultants, writing blogs and teaching at beauty centres," adds Dr. Thomas.

 

Trained cosmetologists find well paid jobs in beauty parlors, high-end salons and luxurious hotels or resorts. Makeup professionals are always in demand in television, film and fashion industries or as image consultants, blog writers, teachers at vocational institutes or beauty centres

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